Did you know that Buying EXPIRED DOMAINS and then redirecting them using a 301 Redirect will transfer 100% of THEIR SEO to YOUR SITE?!?! It's true...
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About the Topic
How to Use Expired Domains for SEO
Leveraging expired domains is one of the most untapped and effective ways to accelerate SEO performance.
What Makes Expired Domains Worth Pursuing?
So, before I show you some ways you can leverage expired domains, I need to answer an important question: why are expired domains even worth using?
Well, the truth is that an expired domain unto itself has no value.
These domains become valuable when A) they have a quality link profile (with unoptimized anchor text), B) they were relevant to your website, and C) they weren’t previously used for spam.
This criteria may seem straightforward, but it can be challenged to find domains that actually meet it.
So, after I show you how you can use expired domains to amplify your SEO campaign, I’ll then show you how you find quality domains.
4 Ways to Leverage Expired Domains
Here are 4 ways you can leverage expired domains to grow your organic search traffic:
1. Private Blog Networks (PBNs)
Private Blog Networks (PBNs) are the most popular method for leveraging expired domains. The problem is that using PBNs is also the riskiest method on this list. I will tell you that I personally do not use PBNs. I was a PBN addict back in the day until I got obliterated.
I’m not one of those SEOs that bashes other people’s methods.
If you want to use PBNs that’s cool because they work.
But, it’s my obligation to tell you that they come with substantial risk. Ultimately, your decision to use PBNs requires nothing more than risk/reward analysis. If you believe the “reward” (ie: organic search traffic) is larger than the risk of using PBNs, then go for it.
The truth is that you do NOT need to use PBNs to get SEO results.
That’s the one mindset issue I see with some die-hard PBN advocates… They become so obsessed with the whole process of using PBNs, that they forget that there are other ways to rank.
In fact, I’ve seen threads of forums saying that “anyone who says they aren’t using PBNs to rank, is lying.”
Having this type of tunnel vision will murder your success overtime. We all are trying to grow traffic organically, so why wouldn’t you want to keep your tactics organic? Why would you want to be rigid with the tactics you use when SEO and business are fluid and ever-changing?
Anyway… here’s the truth:
You don’t have to use risky tactics to grow your organic search traffic.
Always consider the risk/reward of any SEO strategy you use. Don’t just think in the short term. Envision every possible scenario. Both positive and negative.
So, I’ve completed my rant and as you can imagine, I’m not going to be showing you how to create a PBN.
If you are willing to accept the risk of using PBNs, then you should check out Matt Diggity’s blog because he’s the top dog when it comes to using private blog networks.
The following three ways to leverage expired domains are much less riskier than using PBNs.
2. White Hat Alternative to PBNs
If you’re more risk averse, then the White Hat Alternative to PBNs might be a better approach. The good news is that this method has practically zero penalty risk. The bad news is that it requires a big time investment because you have to perform outreach.
Time investment shouldn’t be too big of a concern because A) all other tactics will take a similar amount of time to execute and B) you can easily create procedures and outsource these methods.
The process is simple:
Find a relevant and high-quality expired domain
Extract its backlink profile
Find contact information for all the quality link opportunities
Reach out and let the linker know that they are linking to a dead resource/website
If they respond, pitch the idea of them replacing the dead link with a link to your website
This method works best if you are promoting a relevant SEO content asset.
3. The Merger Technique
The Merger Technique is my personal favorite method because it requires the least amount of effort, but usually gets the best ROI and ROT. The most time sucking element of this technique is the process of finding relevant, high-quality domains.
So, what is The Merger Technique?
Well, I have an entire guide dedicated to this tactic, but I’ll briefly explain it here.
The Merger Technique is the process of finding relevant expired domains with strong link profiles and then 301 redirecting them to your website.
I stumbled upon this tactic when I was working with a data center company that would frequently acquire other data center companies throughout the United States. Every time they acquired a new company, we would 301 redirect that company’s website to the appropriate local page.
For example, when they would acquire a Dallas data center, we would 301 redirect the website to our client’s “Dallas” landing page. This was incredibly effective to accelerating our client’s website authority. This made their SEO campaign a breeze.
The reason why the authority accelerates using this method is because of link quality and link quantity.
4. Niche Websites
This method isn’t necessarily a link acquisition method, but more of a strategy. If you have ever tried to start a niche website, you probably have encountered what is often referred to as the “sandbox” effect.
In short, this means that Google inhibits new websites from performing well in organic search until they establish age, trust, and authority.
If you have a new website, it can take months to get traction. One way to bypass this sandbox period is to start your niche website on an expired and aged domain. Just to be clear, this method is not foolproof, but it’s effective.
Okay, so now that you know the four ways you can leverage expired domains, let me show you how you can find expired domains. Then, I’ll show you how to qualify the domains you find.
Then,Find Expired Domain.
How to Qualify Expired Domains
--What is the Domain’s History?
Check the Domain History.
--Is the Domain Indexed?
If you’re going to focus on expiring domains in auction, then it’s critical that the domain is indexed in Google. Some domains that have already expired won’t be indexed. In these cases, once the domain becomes “live” again, Google will usually reindex it.
That is, if it’s a quality domain and hasn’t been used for any questionable objectives.
--Does the Domain Have a “Clean” Link Profile?
I think the easiest way to audit a link profile is understand what a quality link actually looks like.
A quality backlink will have at least one if not all of these qualities:
It’s from a closely relevant domain
Getting backlinks from relevant domains is the mecca of effective link acquisition. There are times when relevancy isn’t always critical.
For example, let’s say the expired domain used to be an SEO company. After reviewing its link profile you discover that it has a backlink from the New York Times.
Is the New York Times relevant to SEO? No. But is the New York Times a trusted, respected, and authoritative source for information? Yes.
In this situation, relevancy doesn’t matter as much because the New York Times’ authority counteracts the lack of relevancy.
It’s from a “real” website
I’m not going to insult your intelligence and tell you what a real website should look like. You’re currently on a real website reading this article. This website you’re on has a voice, has user engagement, and most importantly, has real traffic.
Use your best judgement (or your gut) on this because it’s probably right.
It’s anchor text makes sense
It’s okay to have some keyword-rich anchors in the link profile. However, the keyword-rich anchors should make sense. I’ll use the “SEO company” example again.
Does this anchor text make sense for a domain that was previously an SEO company? Absolutely not.
Use your best judgement here and always ask: “Does this make sense?”
One more important point is that the bulk of the anchor text profile for the domain should be unoptimized. You don’t want to work with a domain that’s been abused from an SEO standpoint.
The linking domain has authority itself
If the expired domain has many backlinks from websites that are unauthoritative, then it might not be a quality opportunity.
And when I say “unauthoritative”, that means the linking domains don’t have many backlinks themselves. This would be an indication the expired domain will have low trust and low authority.
A combination of low trust and low authority equals a weak opportunity.
Are the backlinks “sticky”?
You want to feel confident the existing backlinks have a high probability to “stick”. Meaning, that there is a low chance they will be removed.
An example of a backlink type that has a low probability of being removed is one from a dated article. On the opposite side, a backlink injected in a website’s footer has a high probability of being removed. That’s why I’m not a fan of leveraging domains that used to be web design companies (since that’s usually the bulk of their link profile).
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